The Magdalena Atlazolpa neighborhood is one of the 15 original settlements of Iztapalapa. These are among the oldest in an already very old part of the City. Like neighboring Aculco, it was a tiny island in Lake Texcoco during the ancient period.
The Nahuatl name derives from the old place name, Atiazolpa or Atlazolpan meaning defensive darts. The zolli denotes the darts were old or used and thus the name is rather roughly translated as “on top of the old darts.” It’s often noted that Atlazol was also the grandson of Ocelopan, a nableman from Tenochtitlan. The town name could be related to his rule here.
The Magdalena Temple dates from construction in the 16th, 19th, and 20th centuries. It appears on a map of Culhuacán from 1580. Inside, a painting of the Virgin of the Candelaria is often noted as particularly relevant. The atrial cross is too. That dates from the 16th century.
The Magdalena Atlazolpa is in remarkably good condition. The atrium is well preserved even lacking any atrial wall. The welcoming neighborhood market, the Mercado Sifón is less than a bock north of the parish church. Together they constitute what can still be considered the very center of town.